Chamath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya

Owner of The Golden State Warriors & CEO of Social Capital

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON April 14, 2016

Discussion

Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
Hard questions only.
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@chamath, hard question: How can I convince you to come speak at an off the grid retreat for founders that takes place in the middle of nowhere between K/W, Toronto and Ottawa, focused on supporting Canadian startups this September?
Steven Pulver
Steven Pulver@stevepulver · Co-Founder, Fireside Conference
@daniellevine @chamath Yes, let's make this happen! Would love this!
danielgold1
danielgold1@danielgold1 · Sales hacking, SEO, Ottawa.
@daniellevine @chamath I'd drive up from Ottawa for this and since I'm from Ottawa and Chamath is from Ottawa that's like 3 upvotes.
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@danielgold1 @chamath there's a big movement of Canadians coming together (especially in the corridor region) to support our startup community. Would be great to have you at @firesideconf
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@daniellevine when? i'll seriously consider it...
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@chamath Sept 9, 10 and 11 (any or all of those dates). Let's do a real fireside chat. If you follow @firesideconf on Twitter I'll DM you the details.
Jak Tran
Jak Tran@jak_tran · Founder of FORUM an open messaging app
2-3 years ago, you said Bitcoin is a huge huge deal. How has evolved your point of view? Do you still believe in Bitcoin as a form of currency (gold 2.0) or are you more bullish on derivated technology like Ethereum?
Kingsong Chen
Kingsong Chen@kingsongchen · Dev
What are a few opportunities that excite you in old industries (government, insurance, etc.)?
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@kingsongchen If I had to rank some areas that are both incredibly difficult and meaningful, i'd come up with the following rough rank: 1. climate change 2. energy density 3. transportation 4. agriculture some more color: on (1) we have crossed the rubicon on climate. there is no longer an oppty to roll back the damage we've done by many accounts but rather minimize the damage. as such, i think it becomes critical for us to figure out what things we can do to help improve climate (ie genetically engineering trees to absorb carbon as an example) on (2) we need to fundamentally bend the current laws of energy density as we don't really have a deep understanding of new materials science or how we'd construct batteries and other forms of energy storage on a different price curve on (3) we need to eliminate the vagaries of driving on roads and allows us to think about transport as not just (x,y) but also (x,y,z) and in this case, it would, specifically mean vertical take off and landing of consumer transportation devices on (4) we won't have enough food to feed the entire population today and rather than focus on how to monopolize key inputs like water (which some very smart and rich people are doing) i'd like us to figure out how to dramatically improve yield.
Panashe Mahachi
Panashe Mahachi@panashemahachi
@chamath @kingsongchen it's funny that Elon is taking on 3/4 at once :P
Mariah Lichtenstern
Mariah Lichtenstern@lightedstar · Founder, CINESHARES
@chamath @kingsongchen HEMP is really good at absorbing carbon and does not deplete soil. It's also a great source of bio-fuel, paper, cloth, and plastic (Ford actually made a car of it once). Oh! Its seed is incredibly nutritious, too. Did I mention it grows almost anywhere? Unfortunately, beyond material construction, it can only transport mentally. Per Jack Herer's #TheEmperorWearsNoClothes
Let's say I'm an engineer with 2 years experience and interests in product, engineering, and data science. What role (pm, eng, or data) would enable me to learn at the fastest rate?
Colin James Belyea
Colin James Belyea@colin_james_belyea
I've been reading @alex_danco 's Emergent Layers posts- how does Social Capital fit into this? What scarce resource have you identified recently? for reference: https://medium.com/swlh/emergent...
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@colin_james_belyea @alex_danco The emergent layers construct, which i love, is an elegant way of helping us both understand the past and frame future potential. at social capital, we talk a lot about having a "prepared mind". what this means, for us, is having the ability to learn, slowly about potential ways of thinking about opportunities so that when we meet companies and areas of interest, we can jump on them quickly and be intellectually prepared to dig in and get to ground truth. emergent layers is really an extrapolation of how the OSI stack evolved and how we can use that to think about the value creation that has yet to happen and some areas that could potentially be interesting for us to focus on. there are a bunch of scare resources at this current layer that i am fascinated by: 1. trust - how psychologically we build meaningful connections and "trust" others 2. time - how we can spend and save what more and more people find to be their more precious asset, more important than money, reputation, etc. 3. capability - how software and/or hardware can increasingly improve the SLA and QOS of various tasks to a point where we have high predictability in critical capabilities. ie how a surgical robot can now find a tumor and excise it with no meaningful risk of collateral damage vs a human surgeon.
Panashe Mahachi
Panashe Mahachi@panashemahachi
How do you help the startups you invest in battle bureaucracy when trying to transform industries?
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@panashemahachi this is a really important question. there are two kinds of growth. rocketship growth --> monotonically negative growth thereafter OR steady compounding. transforming laggard industries will require an appreciation that the latter approach is the only path to success so being capital efficient and eliminating distractions from the rest of the silicon valley echo chamber are crucial. there is too much focus in silicon valley trying to recreate the magic of facebook or snapchat's rapid growth. i don't think these are replicable. the other kind of growth takes more discipline to appreciate, are more reliable over time and allow the building of durable companies.
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@chamath @panashemahachi where does this focus come from? Is it the entrepreneurs trying to emulate their growth, or the investors demanding it? Perhaps both?
Panashe Mahachi
Panashe Mahachi@panashemahachi
@chamath how would you balance the two kinds of growth if your product is in a laggard industry but benefits greatly from network effects?
Marcus A. Carey
Marcus A. Carey@marcusacarey · Investment Analyst, SVB Capital
How does 73-9 feel?
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@marcusacarey Abso-Fucking-Lutely amazing... :)
Paul Sondhi
Paul Sondhi@paulsondhi · Student
You recently said Social Capital was going to evolve from being just a venture capital firm. Can you give us more details on that? What type of products are you guys looking to build, if any? P.S. How difficult would it be to get to you to speak at NYU next semester? :)
Is an iOS and Android duopoly good enough? Will there be a third significant smartphone OS in the next 5-10 years? (I enjoyed your discussion with Kara Swisher about the facebook phone project)
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@mlipman1 I'm still convinced that the cloud is the ultimate threat to both iOS and Android. over time, if you have equivalence in the products across both platforms and that both of them enable light client experiences married to powerful cloud experiences, the next platform is really just a browser (ultra fast) on a "phone" with a really fast internet connection that gets you to these cloud services you rely on.
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@chamath @mlipman1 this sounds similar to the Chromebook strategy. Do you think that's the future?
danielgold1
danielgold1@danielgold1 · Sales hacking, SEO, Ottawa.
@daniellevine @chamath @mlipman1 In order for it to be the chromebook strategy they have to build a new superfast internet for everyone and they aren't trying to do that only to get the internet TO everyone.
Andy Toth
Andy Toth@andtoth · VC
Hey Chamath! One Q regarding the Automotive industry: Imagine you're the CEO of a 100yo premium carmaker. What would you focus on and do in order to become the TOP player in the next 10-15 years? Not only in terms of increasing sales and margins but entering/creating new markets as well. Thanks a lot!
Nik Sharma
Nik Sharma@mrsharma · Director of Performance Marketing, hint
Hi Chamath, thanks for doing a PH LIVE! Here's my hard question: With Facebook's recent announcements at F8, and incredible platform growth over the last 3-5 months, how would you have led the growth differently if you were still at Facebook? Would you have focused this heavy on video content across FB & Instagram? Also, what is your opinion on Facebook dropping programmatic advertising / becoming a DSP? Thanks! PS - would love to get coffee with you.
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@mrsharma I think facebook's strategy is solid but could use with a few doses of broadened scope. specifically, the most tactical improvement to the strategy would be viewing the user across a continuum of 24 hours. what i mean by this is that facebook is essentially a proxy for every internet user now. this said, their scope and scale are still bounded to the 2-4 hours per day that these internet users are at "play". i think broadening the scope to think about the user across their entire lifecycle per 24h day would drive another set of interesting, strategic bets at scale. ie how do you provide utility at work? how do you provide utility at sleep? how do you provide utility more broadly defined (while driving, at the doctors office, applying for a credit card etc.)... in the meantime, there are some big, bold bets that can happen within their current scope. i'd seriously thinking about buying a big game studio, buying a video service like netflix and bidding more aggressively for live content starting with sports.
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@chamath @mrsharma great answer. you talked a lot about this in your interview with Kara Swisher. I thought your point about Facebook purchasing apps that monopolize different hours in the day was insightful. How can they own the hours when people are at work? Would Slack be a good acquisition?
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey - what is the hardest question you've ever been asked?
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are some experiences/insights/skills you learned during your time at Facebook that you're applying to your work at Social Capital today?
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@tomstocklein here is a short list: 1. don't take your self too seriously 2. live your truth (be yourself and live authentically) 3. appreciate that 99% of this is pure luck and it could be some other schmuck who got lucky 4. do the right thing even when its the hard or unpopular thing 5. see #1
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
@chamath Great list! Thanks.
HARSHA
HARSHA@harshinde · another product loving geek
Could you shed some light on your framework/thoughts before deciding to invest in a startup? Is it the potential of the idea/founders, both, growth curve, etc? Could use Premise as an example.
Mahieddine Cherif
Mahieddine Cherif@mahieddinech · Software engineer
If real entrepreneurs (by definition) try always to innovate and find new ways to resolve hard problems, why most investors follow the "hot" topic, the "wave" and forsake the others? do they follow only the numbers ? the security ? do you ? if investors were like that in the late 19th century we wouldn't' have trains, cars, airplanes, internet...everyday we see a new chat app with 5+ millions funding just like that, every day a new emojii startup...seriously ?
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
Your alma mater, The University of Waterloo, is producing a disproportionately high number of YC grads and other tech entrepreneurs. What are the main reasons for this?
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya@chamath · CEO, SocialCapital
@tomstocklein This is both the good and bad of canada. we are really smart, hard working but don't get much attention. so when US brands come to Canada and offer us attention, we generally gen enamored with it. at the same time, its important to appreciate that there has never really been an enabler for massive company creation. they tend to happen organically and the entropy comes from within. i am hopeful that this is a good step in the right direction which is to eventually give canadians the courage to jump in with two feet and start a bunch of ambitious companies...
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
@chamath @tomstocklein "This is both the good and bad of canada. we are really smart, hard working but don't get much attention. " coudlnt agree more. Canadian startups need to come together and solve this problem.
danielgold1
danielgold1@danielgold1 · Sales hacking, SEO, Ottawa.
@daniellevine @chamath @tomstocklein Chamath, When are you starting your Canadian VC fund to invest directly into Canada to help solve this problem?
daniellevine
daniellevine@daniellevine · Fireside
Andy Toth
Andy Toth@andtoth · VC
Hi Chamath. Great to have you here! What do you think is the best way to improve the quality of discussion on social media in general and in comments during live video broadcast in particular? Thanks!
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
Hi Chamath, how do you identify emerging trends and how do you pick ventures in nascent markets?
Haddon
Haddon@haddonfortes
Do Bots align with Social Capital's values and would you be an investor? How do you think bots will affect human communication skills development? Where do you see bots fitting in with our future and will Facebook be the market leader?